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Haley Reinhart leaves "Idol" with great memories

For third-place "American Idol" finalist Haley Reinhart, being around the Top 2 contestants, teenagers Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery, harkened her youth.

For third-place "American Idol" finalist Haley Reinhart, being around the Top 2 contestants, teenagers Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery, harkened her youth.

"It's been fun," Reinhart told journalists during a teleconference following her eliminaton from the competition last week. "Lauren, she takes me back, she really does, to when I was younger. You know five years -- it can be a big difference and it's been really fun. It's been really fun just to hang out with them and I like being a goofball, so I always make the best of it good time."

Reinhart grew up on the stage performing with her father, Harry, as she did on Wednesday's (5/18) performance show when he played guitar for her during her rendition of Led Zeppelin's "What Is and What Should Never Be."

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"My parents have basically just taught me the rules of the stage and everything since I was 8," she said. "The first big thing I ever got to do was -- it was on my 9th birthday that day -- I got to play in an International Tattoo Festival and it was huge. I sang 'Blue,' actually, from LeAnn Rimes, because that's when I had figured out that I could yodel. I heard LeAnn doing it and was captivated by it, so I did it I think I was overwhelmed and probably cried afterward, but it was just an amazing feeling.

"Then going from that to on Wednesday It's always been a dream of mine to get somewhere and even, well, just as important to me, it would be an honor to have my mom, my dad -- to have them with me up there. So, I got to go back home [to Wheeling, IL, for the homecoming show], play with their band, and then having him on the stage and actually getting to -- just give him a couple of licks and show America what he can do, that was just so special to me."

And it was special to her father as well.

"He was just on cloud nine," she said. "He had a blast. He said this was my best concert ever. This is a keepsake for life that we'll always have. Nothing can take that away from us."

During her run on "American Idol," Reinhart had a groundswell of support, including from the likes of past "Idol" contestant Adam Lambert, who backed her on Twitter. She said that gave her extra motivation to do well.

"I'm not too big on the blogs," she said."I don't like to look into anything that could possibly be negative, but I look at the tweets. I pretty much read everybody's that they send me, and getting that support from Adam was just amazing because, in my opinion, he's just spectacular. He's one of the best that ever laid foot on that stage."

Another of her supporters was fellow contestant Casey Abrams, whom she was rumored to be dating. Abrams denied that during his teleconference, and Reinhart did as well.

"[Those rumors] started a long time ago," Reinhart said. "I forget which week but it's when we just really started bonding a lot more and getting really close. And really just could confide in each other and had a different kind of connection from the rest, so we'd sit by each other and all that jazz. So I'm pretty sure that's when it all started. We laughed about it. Obviously, we have a really, really strong relationship -- maybe not dating but the musicality between us and everything else has just been wonderful."

Despite that support, Reinhart was in the bottom three four times before last Thursday (5/19). She said the fact that she survived multiple times gave her the feeling of invincibility.

"I don't like to sell myself short and I believe that taking that all in stride and realizing I've been in it so times and I'm still around, you know, there's something going on," she said."I just got to step my game up even more, week to week, and it pulled off."

Despite her reaction on stage when Alaina was announced as the finalist, Reinhart said she was not upset with the decision.

"Not angry," she said. "Of course everybody's going to be surprised with the verdict, but all in all I accepted it very quickly and took it in, took it all with grain of salt and said, 'Hey, everything happens for a reason and this is a good thing.' This happened for a reason and it only means that I'm going to start my career as a solo artist even sooner."


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